Sparke Helmore's construction, projects and infrastructure team has concluded a $US550,000 ($513,000) building contract on behalf of Mary MacKillop East Timor Mission (MMETM) for the construction of office, residential and training facilities in Dili, East Timor.
The Mission is a work of the Sisters of St Joseph who have provided education, health care, training and employment for the East Timorese people since 1997.
Sparke Helmore's legal assistance was provided pro bono as part of the firm's corporate social responsibility scheme, SHARE. The work involved negotiations for land acquisition, the preparation of tender documents and consultancy agreements and the negotiation of a design and construct contract with a Timorese building company.
The matter was complicated by an uncertain land ownership system, difficulties procuring works insurance because of security concerns, the absence of a developed system of building standards and a contracting environment unfamiliar with the usual detail required by Australian standard contracts.
The pro bono work was performed by partner Paul Gavazzi and senior associate Catherine Grayling.